• James Parry

Parrywinkle, April 6, 2017

Being the 'in-depth investigative' reporter that I am, just back from a week-long fact-finding mission in Mexico checking out progress on the wall promised by U.S. President Donald Trump at that country's expense. As well as a one-on-one interview with Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, for an exclusive here in Your Local Journal. Unfortunately, I'm sad to report dear readers; it didn't work out quite as planned.

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THE MAYA THE MERRIER - For some strange reason, our plane landed in Cancun where my beautiful Sunshine and I were whisked away to a resort on the Riviera Maya where the mariachi band was waiting, tequila was flowing, the sun was shining, and the only walls many fellow imbibers were talking about were those - albeit in ruin - that we visited at the nearby Mayan 13th-century archaeological site of Tulum.

Also, unfortunately, the 'walls' of Sargassum Seaweed that washed up on the beach every morning requiring an army of staff armed with rakes, pitchforks, and wheelbarrows toiling throughout the day in a scene reminiscent of King Canute trying to keep the incoming tide at bay!

After five days of taking it easy and feeling sorry for the guys wielding the pitchforks, however, I asked to borrow one and pitch in for an hour. Put it down to the gardener in me but a dumb move on my part.

For in mid-throw, I slipped on the coral and cracked a couple of ribs. Ouch! On the flight back, which departed some six hours late because of technical problems with the plane - necessitating a replacement being flown down from Montreal – I developed a bit of a cough and a cold. Not a good combination with busted ribs, I can assure you!

Ah, but we did have fun and it was good to get away from it all if only for a few days. Not that Mexico, mind you, will ever replace Cuba in our hearts, particularly when it comes to the beaches. And as just about every traveller will agree, it's always good to come home. Even if there is some snow still around!

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JOLLY GOOD FELLOWES - Which is what Hudsonites Mark and Ann Drake did recently after a delightful three-week sojourn in Europe. During which, in London one evening, they attended the prestigious annual dinner of the Kitchener Scholars' Association at the magnificent Royal College of Defence Studies in Belgrave Square. The reason for the invite? Evidently Mark was a Kitchener Scholar at Oxford, benefitting from the Lord K. National Memorial Fund, to which he now gives back every year.

PHOTO COURTESY MARK DRAKE

Beneath a painting of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Hudsonites Mark & Ann Drake (second and third from left) enjoyed a delightful evening in London, England, recently with Lady Emma Kitchener, Lord Julian Fellowes, and Sir Tom Phillips head of the Royal College of Defence Studies.

The gala evening was presided over by Lady Emma Kitchener, great-niece of the original Lord Kitchener who was killed aboard HMS Hampshire in 1917 and in whose name the fund was established. And who was accompanied by her husband, none other than Lord Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey fame.

On behalf of the countless Downton Abbey fans on this side of the pond, Mark asked him why he had finished the blockbuster series shown on PBS. “He told me that the actors had had quite enough and wanted to move on.” And there you have it in a nutshell folks!

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SLOVENIA BOUND FOR GOLD - And how's this for a trip of a lifetime? Fifteen year-old Hudsonite Alex Baumeister is off to Slovenia in Central Europe this August as one of just five teens from across Canada chosen to represent our country in the 16th Cortland World Youth Fly Fishing Championship 2017. And to help pay his way, a special Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser is being held at The Royal Canadian Legion, 56 Beach Road, Hudson, on Thursday, April 13, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. with tickets at $15 a pop.

Says his Mom, Jen, “Our little community has fostered Alex's path to the World's. From those who helped him drop a line into Pine Lake to hook a trout to the crowd at the Hudson Yacht Club who watched him learn to cast his fly line on the T-pier. And now he's going for gold. Making Hudson proud!”

For more info, call (450) 458-4849 or e-mail baumeister@videotron.ca.

And that's a wrap.

E-mail: creation@videotron.ca

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